‘I can see with each generation the grayness of my time shifting to a bright new future. As we come closer to understanding the chains that bind us and with each cleansing of the fated, our blood is made pure. One day the accursed monolith within the nexus will crumble, and peace will smile upon us.’ I’sa’Ir-The Book of Krot
The Malcavas—sometimes called the Gray Ones or Draceneaians—are an ancient people created long ago by an unnamed god of fate. They were the tools of conquest as the deity attempted to gain a foothold on new worlds and alternate realities. They were designed to be quick learners, adaptable to varied environments, and living weapons. Their minds were closely attuned with that of their god, and as new incarnates arose their attitudes would quickly shift with them. In their recent past—the last several thousand years—the Malcavas became involved in a plot to prevent their god from reincarnating. The fear of reprisal from their god has made the Malcavas, once the facilitators of destiny, now the sworn enemies of Fate. Using all that they had learned from their creator and the worlds they had conquered, the Malcavas started an endless war against the multitude of remaining gods. They started with the least of these beings, killing them and gathering the divine energies to use as weapons and protection. As a result, the Malcavas are now a terrifying force to behold; using technologies, magics, and the raw forces of divine power, they can lay waste to all they behold.
The Malcavas generally appear much like humans; their creator had witnessed the rise of that race throughout the multiverse and designed his creations to blend in. However, Malcavas do possess certain universal traits, which, though they might not be enough to completely distinguish them from humans, are consistent within their own kind. All Malcavas have an ash-gray tint to their skin, and dark circles about their eyes testify to the world-weariness of their age-old race. They tend be slightly taller than the average human, generally measuring 1.55 meters (m) (5’10”) to 2.01 m (6’6”) in height. Their hair can be of any type or color, but black and white are predominant. Weight tends to be proportional to their height, except in cases of disease or bio/techno/magical engineering. Generally, the only way to differentiate a Malcavas from a human is by the innate, but weak, magical aura of divination magic that they exude.
Malcavas society is formed around eight clans, which were innately formed when the race was created. The eight clans are as follows: Anord-Atig (The Scattered Unmarked Ones); Anord-Droch (The Destructive Force of Darkness), often called the lost clan; Anord-Frigear (The Embodiment of the Gray Lord); Fri-Maith (The Good People Who Make No Judgment); Lovi-Medi (The Even Rule); Lovi-Vel (The Rule of Enlightenment); Medi-Oloas (The Balancing Night); and Ret-Droch (The Truth of Darkness). The Anord-Droch vanished shortly after their god of fate was prevented from reincarnating. Each of the eight clans represents one aspect of their slain god of fate.
The Malcavas are unified under a single leader, who can be officially changed only once every forty years. This leader is called the Se’maj Sa’mot, and he/she is considered a god by all Malcavas. The Sa’mot is, at the time of his/her rule, the vessel that holds the power of all the divine beings that the Malcavas have slain. At the end of the Sa’mot’s forty-year reign he/she is expected to travel to the birthplace of his people and drain/slay a god upon the Kulori Scurra, also known as the slaughter stone. At this time the Sa’mot can step down and become an I’sa’Ir (The Sage) or attempt to absorb the divine powers of which he had been the temporary custodian. If he/she attempts the latter course and is able to succeed at absorbing that energy, then he/she will continue to be the Sa’mot for an indeterminate amount of time. If not, he/she will die a spectacular death, and one of the clan leaders must step forward to take his/her place. This can be a time of great upheaval, as the clan leaders often battle for the position. In the end, whichever leader is able to absorb the energy is the new Se’maj Sa’mot, and, subsequently, their clan dictates policy.
The goals of Malcavas everyday life are very similar to those of any other civilization: to live, grow, and make a world better for their kin. The common Malcavas fill all levels of society: farmers, builders, poets, scientists…the list goes on. They are all, however, expected to be warriors and to learn as much as feasible from the material collected from both their own culture and those that have fallen beneath their sway. This means that the typical Malcavas has an above-average education and some military training. No Malcavas is considered inherently lesser, and all clan leaders are elected. The only exception is the Se’maj Sa’mot, who is revered if for no other reason than for the awesome responsibility he/she must uphold and the sheer vitality he/she must have to contain the frighteningly powerful divine energies.
The Malcavas use a myriad of technological and magical advances to enhance their culture. Most of these enhancements have been stolen from other cultures, either through trade, espionage, or, most commonly, conquest. They possess war machines that bring together the best traits of magic and technology to destroy their enemies. For battling highly magical cultures, they will bring forth their steam- or gas-powered machines, while arcane devices are used to conquer those that are primarily technology-based. Often they use a combination of both, as they have observed that the psychological impacts of their devices on their targets can be tremendous, as arcane monstrosities enter the battlefield bellowing flames, smoke, and steam.
This bizarre mix of technologies and magics can also be observed among the people Malcavas people themselves. While most Malcavas would be difficult to pick out of a crowd of humans, many have “upgraded” themselves. It is not uncommon to see a Malcavas with magical eye implants or a steam-powered arm. Most modified Malcavas tend to be career military, but this is by no means absolute.
‘The smaller ones inscribed upon their souls with the fires of the universe a truth. If the nexus were ever to be opened, and the smaller ones and smaller ones and smaller ones were to gain access, then the families would be banished to the beginning beyond the temple at the edge of dreams. In fear, the families fled from the paths into the darkest lands of their despair. When the darkness changed to gray, they returned to the world with new hope.’ I’sa’Ir-The Book of Krot
The current homeland of the Malcavas is a location on the planet of Rimead called Gray Draceania. It is a wasteland that only the Malcavas could make into a livable environment. For this reason they are also known as the Draceaneians. It is within this land that they came to hide after the betrayal of their god. For hundreds of miles surrounding their strongholds there are very few resources, and any normal army would be unable to sustain themselves for an extended assault. This is not the only reason for their choice of location, however. Despite their constant activities to prevent the return of their god, they still feel great shame for their actions; this inhospitable land is their self-imposed punishment for their unforgivable crimes.